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2010 Vintage, first days results

Good news from the beginning of our harvest, the first grapes coming in are both looking good, with great levels of maturity and acidities.

On the agenda of this first day of Monday 27: the 3 varieties of the pinot family: Pinot Noirs, gris and blanc. We were somewhat worried to be receiving in the beginning some grapes of plots whose sanitary state could have been degraded. It is not the case at all.

Tuesday 28 is the first day when our wine growers under contract are invited to pick the Muscat varietals. As far as we are concerned, only about 5 acres are planted with this grape who where remarkably healthy allowing us to do some cold maceration: destemming  prior to a 12 hours skin contact. We take advantage of this day to harvest as well our own young plot of Muscat (a mix of white and red Muscat d'Alsace à petits grains) located in the Schoenenbourg.

Pinot Blancs, auxerrois come in at an average close to 12° and the first Pinot Gris between 13 and 14. We even receive some auxerrois lots at over 15° potential without a single rotten berry.

The weather forecast for the coming days remaining cool and overcast with chances of light rain we decide to bring in our very best plots of Pinot Noirs under still optimal conditions. The grapes were perfectly sound with average ripening degrees of 12,6°. A beautiful Jubilee in prospect...

From Thursday on and for the rest of the week we start to bring in the first gewurztraminers purchased from vineyards located mainly in the region south of Colmar in clay and limestone soils.

In our estate, a limited team of 15 pickers harvest some lesser Pinot Gris vineyards located in the lighter terroirs of Riquewihr with dergrees well over 14 ! Who said 2010 would be a difficult vintage ?

A quick video below to explain the way we work. Despite the large volumes we currently receive, we do not cut any corners: grapes are exclusively hand harvested, every single container is measured, identified and processed by gravity for a long slow pressing followed by a static settling of the must. Truly hand crafted wines, for your enjoyment...


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2010 Vintage, starting today !


The weather has played with our nerves over this last weekend with very heavy clouds over our heads, luckily without serious consequences.
Bright sunny day on this D day...

The 10 day weather forecast remains favourable at least for the coming week...

Follow us on this Blog for the live unfolding of our 2010 vintage with frequent updates including short videos.

This year, every evening, French time, you can follow LIVE the activity at the winery on a dedicated Ustream page and be kept informed by mini messages on our Twitter page.

This year again, Marc Hugel, in charge of the vineyards and vinification, tells us about the 2010 growing season and his expectations for this vintage.

We have had in Alsace in 2010 a particularly cool month of August without any intense heat as shown on this table from our own weather station. Yet, slow maturations usually mean in our area wines with great aromatic intensity and finesse...

Again this year, a website (in French) has been put in place by the CIVA dedicated to controls of maturities with a possibility of comparing the values of sugar contents and acidities with the previous years.

The harvest of our own estate begins with a reduced team for now. The first two weeks of harvest will be primarily devoted to the reception of grapes (harvested exclusively by hand) of our contract growers according to a planning which will enable us to manage in the best possible conditions our 2010 vintage.

We now start our daily report on this Blog, feel free to follow us and interact with comments and questions. 


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2010 vintage, the expectations by Marc Hugel

Just 4 days from the start of our harvest at Hugel, Marc gives us his impressions and prospects on the vintage 2010 in Alsace


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A happy 9/11 in New York


Could not resist photoshoping the above photo and replace former French President Jacques Chirac's favourite drink with a bottle of my own favourite beverage in its identical yellow  livery ;-)

A full busy day, father and son sparkling lunch (with Champagne Pol Roger... what else ?) together with Christine Wheeler that has graciously hosted Jean Frédéric for most of his NY stay. Christine, other than being a "doctor of the soul", is also involved in Arlene Willis' Grapes for Humanity. What better place than the Modern where Belinda Chang and her team promote Alsace to a point that the region should seriously consider making them honorary citizens of Alsace !

Off then to Acker Merrall, Founded in 1820, which is in their own words "America's Oldest and Finest Wine Shop". Instore tasting conducted by 13th generation Jean Frédéric, his dad just acting as paparazzi. Thank you to all their team for introducing our next generation and our wines to their clients.

The highligt of the day will be the long awaited and planned dinner at Mandarin Oriental's Asiate. Our 3 main grapes in 4 different flights going crescendo all the way up to our rare SGN "S" with a menu with wine pairing that will long be remembered by the happy few. Thank you Alice and Dan for making this possible. 



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Father and son tasting with Stephen Tanzer


Few US wine writers have over the years given as much attention to Alsace wines as Stephen Tanzer and year in, year out, he has spent a considerable amount of time visiting our region to taste and understand its wines as past reports of his International Wine Cellar can testify.

Having completed his very first vintage in the family company in 2009 with his cousin Marc André, Jean Frédéric was delighted to be able to present "his" vintage together with wines from the vintage 2008 together with his dad in the offices of our US importer Frederick Wildman in New York.

Some comments should follow shortly on Stephan Tanzer's new Winophilia, a free on-line e-zine dedicated to increasing your knowledge of wine, provoking your imagination, and stimulating your taste buds... Log on !


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Hugel website update, moving full into a 2.0 harvest


If all goes to plan, on 25 September next the Hugel web site will present its new face to the world, it was just decided at a working meeting in the offices of Vinternet. This specialist Wine Web Agency has accompanied us ever since our first steps on the web, way back in... 1996. Their expertise also helps us stay closely tuned to the trends of this constantly evolving universe.

Philippe Hugon with his young and competent team will make our site even more interactive, the Web 2.0 which everyone talks about, adapted not only to social networking but also to new tools like
Ipads and smartphones.

Live coverage of the 2010 harvest will be the first highlight on our new web site, so now all we need is for the weather to cooperate over the next few weeks...

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